how to get referrals as a freelancer

The #1 Worry For Freelance Writers (And How to Solve It)

Let’s face it, as a freelance writer your day may have a few more worries than those folks that have staff jobs. In particular, the number one concern for us freelancers is the work will suddenly dry up, and leave us destitute. This worry haunts our days and our nights. However, it is definitely possible to ensure a consistent workflow as a freelancer. Read on to find out more.

how to be a freelancer

Find your niche

Having a niche when you are a freelance writer is particularly crucial in securing work. Firstly a niche is a specific area that you can specialize in. It can work well for writers because we get to create work around things they are passionate about, and as we know, it’s always easier to write an engaging quality piece about something that actually interests us.

Luckily, there are all sorts of fascinating niche topics that have been made accessible and in demand on the internet. This means you can successfully base your freelance writing career in areas as varied as health and fitness, wellbeing, vehicles,  art, tech or computer games, as well as pretty much anything else in between.  

Also by focusing your efforts in a certain area, it is easier as a writer to build up a name and reputation for themselves, as well as stay on top of all of the current affairs in that field. This will make your writing well informed and ensure that people think of you when they need a piece on that topic completed.

To learn more about choosing your niche, take a look at my article Yes, You Need a Niche, Freelance Writers.

Ensure your pitch is right

Next, a massive part of ensuring a consistent workflow as a freelance writer is the art of mastering the pitch. The pitch is that communication between you and your client (usually an editor) that convinces them to award the job to you and not someone else.


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Pitches usually consist of titles, lead sentences, and a brief outline of what the rest of the piece will contain. That means these things need to be full of verve and engage the reader straight away. Cut out the generics and put in with attention-grabbing specific pieces that appeal to the readership of the company you are pitching to.

To help you with this you can take a look at their previous publications to see how they title their pieces and what sort of style their articles usually take. Then match your pitch to this to increase your win rate and ensure you have as much work as possible.

For specifics on pitching to magazines, see my article How To Pitch Magazines: A Writer’s Guide for Getting Published.

Manage your reputation

Did you know that your reputation is crucial to your success as a freelance writer? It truly is, especially if you want to win the higher paying articles that will provide you with enough time to research and truly craft the pieces you are writing.

Remember that is it very easy for an editor or client to Google you and get a sense of what you are about quickly. That means you need to manage your online reputation carefully to achieve the best results.

To do this ensure that you keep your non-work social media page private, and you can even employ professionals, as this reputation service case study demonstrates, to ensure that you come across as credible and reliable online. Something that can definitely help you to achieve more work and maintain that steady workflow that so many freelancers desire.

Encourage referrals  

Last of all, but certainly not least to solve the problem of getting enough work, it’s vital that as a freelancer you encourage referrals from previous customers that have been pleased with your work.

Of course, this is easier said than done a lot of the time, as getting repeat business or a business to business referral often seem like something you are a freelancer have little control over.

how to get referrals as a freelancer

The answer here is a combination of incentivization and subtle reminders.

  1. Get repeat work and referrals by offering discounted rates if pieces are requested within a certain space of time.
  2. Remind previous clients that you are still here and ready to help them with any writing job they may need assistance with.
  3. Some freelancers even take the time to send a handwritten thank you card as a way of maintaining a positive relationship with previous clients. Something that can often pay off in the long run.

It’s often much easier to convince satisfied clients that they would like to use you for more work, remember. Instead of finding someone that you have never worked with before that is willing to take an unqualified chance on you.

Need step-by-step instructions on becoming a successful freelance writer? I’ve got you. Read my book:

The Fluff-Free Freelance Writing Master Course: The only course that gives you concrete, actionable information to building a successful freelance business without any fluff.

 

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